Dec 13, 2010
Dec 13, 2010

Dagger (Gwálaa)

Dagger (Gwálaa)

late 1800s–early 1900s

Ivory, fiber, leather, metal (steel), shell

Overall: 3.8 x 4.8 cm (1 1/2 x 1 7/8 in.); Blade: 19.1 cm (7 1/2 in.)

Gift of J. H. Wade 1916.720


After Europeans introduced firearms, the Indigenous Northwest Coast dagger transformed from a weapon into a status symbol worn in a sheath that hung from the neck. That may be the case with this example, which depicts a bear’s head over a supine human.

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